Stiles was convinced that the universe hated him. There was no other way for him to explain the sheer injustice of this entire situation. He had done something at some point in his life—probably recently, let’s be honest—and now the universe was determined to make him suffer for it.
“Stiles, maybe remember that your dad is the sheriff and that we all watched you grow up, and I know for an actual fact you are still only twenty years old,” the old man in front of him said, taking the alcohol from his hands and putting it under the counter at the till.
Stiles sputtered incoherently for a few seconds before putting both hands on the counter. “I’m twenty-one! I am so twenty-one! I am–I am shocked and offended that you would dare assume I am anything but twenty-one!”
“Oh really? Then show me your ID.”
Stiles would’ve felt a lot more confident pulling his fake ID out of his wallet if the man hadn’t started their conversation with the word “Stiles.” But, he handed it over as confidently as he could manage, and watched the man look down at the name on the ID, and then back up at him.
“Your last name is Stilinski, and you are definitely not a Jeremiah. Nice try, kid.” He tossed the ID under the counter as well, Stiles letting out a horrified sound at having lost it since he’d paid good money for that and had spent a majority of his university life using it to get alcohol. “Go on, get out of here before I call your father.”
“This is harassment,” Stiles insisted, walking backwards towards the door and pointing at the man. “Blatant harassment.”
“Uh huh. Come back when you’re twenty-one, Stiles. Until then, stay out of my liquor store.”
“You’re discriminating! This is discrimination!” Stiles shouted, walking backwards out the door and then onto the sidewalk. He groaned and fell down on the curb, burying his face in his hands while Scott patted at his back.
“I told you you shouldn’t have tried it here. It’s Beacon Hills, Stiles. Everyone knows you.”
“I lost my fake ID,” he whined. “It cost me almost eighty bucks for that thing!”
“You’re gonna be twenty-one in like, five months. Just wait.”
“Just wait?” Stiles turned to Scott, horrified. “Scotty, do you know how sad and depressing university life is when you can’t go to parties? It’s sad and depressing!”
Scott rolled his eyes, but said nothing. Stiles knew he could never understand, Scott couldn’t get drunk off anything that wasn’t laced with aconite, and he had to be really careful about that at school since his university happened to border the territory of another Pack. Being an Alpha, he couldn’t lose control and accidentally attack anyone or it would cause a huge problem for him.
But that was a Scott problem. Stiles didn’t have to worry about Pack politics, he could go off and be a normal university student all on his own without having to worry about things like Kanimas, and Alpha Packs, and Darachs. None of that weirdness for Stiles! He was a normal little boy now!
A normal little boy still under the age of majority to purchase alcohol and thus severely sober.
“Come on, you should head home.” Scott slapped his back lightly and stood. “We have early plans tomorrow.”
“Plans we were supposed to do drunk,” Stiles wailed. “You don’t care because you can add aconite to anything and get drunk. I need actual alcohol!”
Scott just grinned at him, patted him lightly on the head—an action Stiles savagely batted away—and then waved over his shoulder, heading to his bike. Stiles watched him climb on and drive away, but he stayed seated on the curb, sulking.
“I’ll buy you alcohol.”
“Jesus, mother of fuck!” Stiles shouted, whipping around and finding Derek skulking in the shadows, as usual. “What the fuck, Derek?! Why are you turning into Peter?! Stop being creepy!”
Derek just glared at him, moving forward so he was standing right beside Stiles, staring down at him. Stiles quickly got to his feet and onto the sidewalk, not liking him looming over him like that.
“I have a deal for you,” Derek said. Stiles cocked an eyebrow and crossed his arms.
“I’m intrigued. Go on.”
“I’ll buy you whatever alcohol you want, because what your stupid human brain does with it is your problem.” Stiles let out an offended sound, ready to argue, but Derek just kept speaking. “In exchange, I need you to be my mate for one night.”
“Say what?” Stiles asked.
“Cora is staying with the Pack that took her in after the fire. I went to visit them a few times, and one of the Betas, Cassidy, is a little...” Derek scowled and Stiles grinned.
“Does someone have a crush on you?”
Derek’s glower was almost scary. “She won’t leave me alone. She calls and texts me constantly, and she’s on her way here. I don’t want to offend her or it might cause problems for Cora, but I figure if I already have a mate, she’ll leave me alone. I’m supposed to go to dinner with her on Wednesday, so if you come with me, I’ll buy you alcohol.”
“Counter-offer,” Stiles said, which had Derek’s eyebrows shoot up. “You buy me alcohol and take me out on a real date, and I’ll pretend to be your mate for a night.”
Derek just stared at him like he didn’t understand what Stiles had just said.
Stiles shrugged. “What? You’re hot and I’ve been crushing on you for like, ten thousand years. You can’t tell me you’ve never smelled my arousal. It’s probably wafting off me right now.” Stiles pretended to fan invisible scents in Derek’s direction. “Waft. Wafting. So much arousal.”
“Stop talking,” Derek snapped, Stiles zipping his lips shut and grinning. Derek glared at him for a few more moments, then grumbled, “Fine.”
Stiles beamed. “Deal! Put ‘er there, partner!”
“Stop talking,” Derek repeated and Stiles let his hand drop, but kept the grin on his face. “What do you want?”
Cheering internally at having bagged both alcohol and a date with Derek, Stiles gave him money and told him what he wanted, then went to wait in the Jeep for him. Derek returned a few moments later with the drinks and handed them to Stiles through the Jeep window.
“I liked you better when you were scared of me,” Derek informed him.
“Doesn’t everyone?” Stiles asked with a grin.
“I pity your liver.” Derek turned on his heel and stalked away towards the Camaro, but turned back long enough to shout, “Wednesday! Don’t forget, or I’ll rip your throat out with my teeth!”
“Stop playing up my kinks, Derek!” Stiles shouted back, which earned him a horrified look from Derek.
Stiles cackled the whole way out of the parking lot.
It was exactly five twenty-five when Stiles showed up at Derek’s door, dressed in a pair of black slacks and a light blue button down with long sleeves. He didn’t know how good he was supposed to look, but Derek had told him not to wear a T-shirt, so he figured this was good enough. At least he’d tried.
When Derek opened the door, he grabbed Stiles’ arm and yanked him inside, checking his phone and scowling.
“She’ll be at the restaurant in a few minutes. Come on.” Derek was still holding his arm, so it made it easy for him to drag Stiles up the stairs and to his bedroom. He practically threw Stiles onto the bed, causing him to bounce twice and almost fall off the other side.
“Uh, I know I said I wanted you to take me out on a date, but don’t you think you should woo me a little more before fucking me senseless in your bed?”
Derek looked up at him from his phone like he was regretting every decision he’d ever made that had led to this moment, but had no other choice than to go through with it now.
“It’s in case she comes over. You come by all the time, despite my protests, so the place smells enough like you that she’ll buy it, but if you’re not up here, it’ll be suspicious. Now roll around.”
Stiles snorted, imagining wolf-Derek rolling around in his bed like an idiot, but he got to work rolling back and forth on the bed, then starfishing and creating a bed angel, wishing it wasn’t as uncomfortable as it was. Snow was much nicer to create angels in.
Derek hovered over him like a creeper, sniffing and leaning down before nodding. “Good enough. Get out of my bed.”
“Get in my bed, get out of my bed. Make up your mind,” Stiles insisted with an exaggerated sigh while getting to his feet. He fixed his hair and straightened out his clothes, then looked up at Derek, who looked extremely uncomfortable.
“What?” Stiles asked slowly.
“We need to smell like each other,” he forced out, the words obviously causing him physical pain to speak.
“What, like—you need to hug me?” Stiles gasped. “Oh my God, are you about to do something human? Holy shit, I’m gonna have to tweet that later.”
Derek’s dark look was totally worth it. Even if he got murdered after dinner, still: worth it.
“You were rolling around in my bed, your clothes are fine. I’m talking more...” he motioned vaguely at Stiles, causing him to look down at himself and then back up at Derek.
“That meant literally nothing to me.”
Letting out an explosive sigh, Derek pulled off his Henley and tossed it angrily onto the bed, unbuttoning the shirt he had on underneath.
“Take off your clothes.”
“Did you miss the part about taking me to dinner before sex?” Stiles asked, motioning the bed. “I remember it quite clearly, it happened not a minute ago.”
“Fine, fine. Can’t blame a guy for wanting to protect his dignity.” Stiles unbuttoned his shirt and tossed it to join Derek’s on the bed along with the wifebeater he had underneath. He kept his pants on because Derek had done the same, and then they just stared at each other.
“Clock’s ticking, you know.” Stiles tapped his wrist, despite not wearing a watch. “What are we doing.”
“I need to scent you.”
“So scent me.”
Derek scowled, as if Stiles had just asked him to eat something foul and he rolled his eyes.
“Seriously, Derek? After everything we’ve been through? I held you up in a pool for hours, and have seen you naked, covered in blood, covered in other things. I physically had to hold your guts together while you healed yourself and shouted profanities at me.” He motioned the action of pushing in Derek’s direction. “I was literally holding your insides. How can you possibly have no problem trusting me not to just let you die, but coming over here to scent me is weirding you out?”
Derek just kept scowling at him, saying nothing, and slowly, a thought occurred to Stiles and a grin formed on his face.
“Wait, are you—do you like me?” Derek’s scowl deepened and Stiles laughed. “Oh my God, you do! You’re getting turned on thinking about scenting me!”
“Stiles,” Derek said through clenched teeth, a warning in his tone.
“Hey, I am all for this. I mean, we’ve already got a date planned, so we can see where things go, but for right now, try and reign in that insatiable lust of yours, okay?” Stiles winked and Derek looked ready to throw him out the conveniently placed window behind him. “Come on, big guy.” Stiles held open his arms. “Scent me.”
He could tell Derek was not happy, but he stalked over to him and wrapped him in a tight hug, rubbing his stubbled jaw against Stiles’ temple. He let his hands wander along Stiles’ back and Stiles did the same, exploring his muscles and moving his hands around the front to drag his nails along Derek’s chest. He felt Derek exhaling along his neck, hands coming up to grip the back of it tightly.
Stiles tried to mimic as much of what Derek was doing as possible, exhaling across his skin, running his hands along his torso, rubbing his cheek against any part of his face he could reach. Derek ended up on his knees, stubble scratching against Stiles’ chest and breath ghosting along his stomach. By the time he looked up at Stiles from the floor, Stiles was fully hard and breathing heavily, probably radiating so much arousal that Derek was drowning in it.
“That’s good enough,” Derek mumbled, turning his face away and standing. Stiles didn’t miss the distinct bulge in his trousers or the way Derek was subtly rearranging himself while heading back for the bed where their clothes were.
They dressed in silence, Stiles’ heart pounding in his chest, and felt like he understood why Derek had felt uncomfortable scenting him. That had been a lot more erotic than he’d been anticipating, and he kind of wished they could skip out on dinner and just jump straight into bed.
The two of them drove to the restaurant in the Camaro, parking in the back. When they climbed out and Derek came around the side, he took Stiles’ hand in his and threaded their fingers together on his way to the entrance. He gave his name at the door, and was informed the other party was already waiting for him.
When they entered the main room, Stiles’ eyes caught the excited looking woman before her face fell as she watched them approach. Derek nodded a thanks to the hostess, letting go of Stiles’ hand and pressing it against the small of his back until Stiles was seated. He sat down beside him, offering Cassidy a nod.
“Cassidy. I’m glad you could make it to dinner. This is Stiles.”
“Stiles,” she said slowly, eyes shifting back and forth between them. “The human? The one Cora talks about, who does all the research?”
“That’s me.” Stiles grinned, leaning into Derek’s side. He felt him tense slightly, and squeezed hard at his thigh under the table until he relaxed. “Resident human of the pack. Nice to meet you.”
“You too,” she said slowly, still eying them both with confusion. “I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be rude, but I thought this was a date...?”
“What?” Stiles asked incredulously, turning to Derek and punching him in the arm. It hurt his hand, and he really needed to remember that punching Werewolves was painful. “Derek! You didn’t make it clear to her?! Jesus.” He turned back to Cassidy. “I’m really sorry. Derek’s not super articulate, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. When he found out you were in town and you called him to go to dinner, he thought you meant, you know, dinner. People out together enjoying each other’s company. Sorry for the confusion.”
“So you two are...?” She looked between them again uncertainly.
“Together,” Derek said stiffly and Stiles elbowed him.
“You are so socially awkward. I swear, he’s not like this in the bedroom.” Stiles’ face fell. “I am so sorry, you didn’t need to know that. Uh, yes, we’re dating. We’ve been together, shit, two years?”
Derek turned to give him a look. “Just over one.”
“Close enough. With you, time drags so it feels like an eternity.” Stiles winked and Derek glowered at him.
“Imagine how I feel.”
“Lucky, I’d say. You get me out of the deal, that seems like a good exchange.” Stiles turned to grin at Cassidy. “All I got out of our arrangement was alcohol. And it wasn’t even free.” Stiles laughed and Cassidy joined in awkwardly, clearly not getting it.
He heard Derek let out a long suffering sigh beside him, but it was his own fault. If he was going to take Stiles out, he had to know what he was getting into.
He reached under the table again and took Derek’s hand, lacing their fingers. Nobody could see them, and Cassidy wouldn’t know unless she specifically looked under the table, so he had no reason to be holding his hand.
But Derek squeezed and didn’t let go. He sat beside him, listening to Stiles talk about nothing, holding his hand under the table all the way until the first course arrived.
Stiles left the restaurant with a smile on his face, and a large, warm hand in his.
Best deal he’d ever made.